Have you assessed your pain?
In this article, I want to talk about relief from pain.
- How do we get to the root cause of the pain? How is pain caused in the first place?
- Do pills and patches work?
- I don’t want to take pills or have surgery what can I do?
Pain what is it? Believe it or not, there are 4 major types of pain,
- Nociceptive Pain: Normally the result of tissue injury.
- Inflammatory Pain: An abnormal inflammation caused by an inappropriate response by the body’s immune system.
- Neuropathic Pain: Pain caused by nerve irritation.
- Functional Pain: Pain without obvious origin, but can cause pain.
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Pain is important! It helps alert you and your body to a possible injury or condition.
- When an injury occurs pain signals get sent from the injured area up to your spine to the brain receptors.
- Normally pain subsides once the injury starts to heal.
Chronic pain. The medical definition of this is pain that lasts for 12 weeks or more. Your body can continue to send signals to your brain long after an injury has healed. Chronic pain can and probably will interrupt your life.
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These are some of the most common chronic pain types
- Post-surgical pain
- Post-trauma pain
- Lower back pain
- Cancer pain
- Arthritis pain
- Neurogenic pain ( caused by nerve damage)
- Psychogenic pain (not caused by disease, injury, or nerve damage)
Chronic pain is usually caused by injury believed mainly to be damage to nerves. Chronic pain without injury is not very well understood. However, some chronic pain can manifest due to various underlying health conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and disease.
Chronic pain can affect people of all ages though it most common in women, after surgery, incurring injury, or being overweight or obese.
Whatever the cause of your chronic pain it is important to put in place a Pain Management System and lifestyle plans (long term)
Sometimes it may be necessary to combine several effective treatments.
Yes to a certain extent over the counter products can work but in my experience, these items treat the symptoms and not the causes. Ibuprofen as an anti-inflammatory and heat patches and creams provide temporary relief and can give you a few hours of functionality. You can get stronger prescription medication from your doctor but the constant worry of the side effects of long term use of drugs is off-putting, to say the least.
Yes, we have arrived at a crucial point in our discussion. What is Acupuncture and does it work?
A form of alternative medicine dating back to about 100BC in China involves the placement of fine needles into specific points on the body. You will hear varying reports on the subject of Acupuncture and its effectiveness. Science is still out on the subject as there is no scientific evidence to support the use of acupuncture. There is however overwhelming evidence according to the millions who have had the treatment and benefitted from it.
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Acupuncture is generally used for pain relief although it is said that it can treat many more conditions. My take on the philosophy behind acupuncture is this.
The Chinese believe that pain is caused when there is a stasis/blockage somewhere in your Chi or the vital energy held within the body. Logically Western medicine agrees, without really accepting the Eastern philosophy, that pain occurs where there is injury and blood and oxygen are not flowing freely to the area. To promote healing, it is widely accepted that you need to promote the flow of blood and therefore oxygen to the affected area. Chinese or Eastern medicine also indicates that while there is injury or stasis in one part of the body there is likely to be pain in other parts along the same meridians or channels within the body. In Western terms reflected or referred pain which occurs in. a part of the body other than the part injured. Surely then it stands to reason that it would be normal to work backward from the reflected pain to the point of injury clearing the channels of pain as you go. This is the intention behind acupuncture.
As I am sure you are aware many Western practices now include acupuncture as part of their treatments
I put it to you the reader that the arguments East and West are for the same thing?
I can only advise you as to my personal experiences with this form of treatment.
Firstly God or Creation decided to play a little joke on me during my life. This joke states that I would be terrified of needles or anything that punctures the skin but that acupuncture would work for me when carried out by a fully qualified practitioner. Mainly my Chief Instructor at Choi Kwon do and Dynamic Self Defence martial arts associations Mr. Gideon Hajioff.
I had had acupuncture before and it was one of the most uncomfortable half an hour I have had in my life, with large needles being inserted into my knee and electric currents attached to those needles. It was only afterward that I discovered there are different practices on the treatment.
What made me a convert? During training one evening I executed a roundhouse kick of sorts and twisted my supporting knee quite badly to the point where I could not work off the pain or continue in the class. Mr. Hajioff shamed me and my fear, in front of the class into allowing him to as he called it pop a needle in. Not believing in acupuncture due to my earlier experience I was of course skeptical. Imagine my surprise when after 20 minutes with a needle “popped in” the pain in my knee disappeared completely allowing me to continue training. After that, I was a regular visitor to Mr. Hajioff at his clinic for any niggling pain I had. Don’t get me wrong I still break out in a cold sweat at the thought of needles but the results outweighed the fear.
Why not make up your mind? If you have chronic pain what do you have to lose?
Please make sure that the practitioner you use is registered and correct! You can see more on Mr. Hajioff at
Acupressure: What is it?
It can be referred to in Western terms as Reflexology. Similar in principle to acupuncture based on the concept of Chi or your energy or life force flowing through the body.
During the treatment, the pressure is applied to the various acupuncture points The idea being to unblock the meridians or channels of energy within the body.
This system is widely used in some forms of massage such as Tai Massage where the therapists treat the whole body rather than just the point of pain or injury.
Medical studies have found that acupressure may be useful in the treatment of lower back pain and headache.
One of the benefits of acupressure is that it is not an invasive treatment and with the use of some equipment and some knowledge of the pressure points can be practiced at home.
Similar to acupressure, shiatsu is an ancient Japanese massage technique where the practitioner uses fingers, palms, and even feet in addition to joint manipulation and stretching where pressure is applied to the body to correct problems and promote overall good health. Again this is a treatment you will find incorporated into Tai massage.
Shiatsu although dating back to around 1320 has no western scientific evidence to support it as a cure for conditions, it is however accepted that it may promote relaxation.
I would add that research into all Eastern treatments are poor and limited. I accept that these techniques may not be able to cure cancers or all health conditions but I believe that it is wrong to dismiss them as placebo effect treatments when you look at
- How long they have been around.
- The longevity and overall health of the people from the countries where practiced.
- The fact that many of the techniques are now accepted into various western treatments.
Flexibility is the key to a pain-free life and full lasting mobility. What you’re about to learn in the next two minutes will shock you! This is one of those rare occasions when science confirmed the truth behind ancient procedures